People willing to commit their resources to a public objective get my utmost respect. They are the highlight of my work life.
A few years back, I met a couple who were both research ophthalmologists. Both had also been diagnosed with macular degeneration. Back then, treatments were limited, and it was only a matter of time before they lost sight.
When I met them, they wanted to promote research of treatments and hopefully cures. I worked with them to endow research chairs at the top five eye research facilities. They put about $15 million of their money into these chairs.
Fast forward a decade. My dad has been fighting macular degeneration for several years. Last fall, his doctor said one eye had stopped responding to treatment. It was a depressing day.
At the beginning of this year, the doctor told them a new treatment was getting FDA approval, and they should remain hopeful.
He’s now using this new treatment, and the results are promising.
I asked the doctor where this new treatment came from.
Can you guess?
From one of the schools where my clients had endowed research work.
I can’t draw a direct line between them, but can it be a coincidence?
Sometimes when I talk with clients about giving, there’s a tension between giving now versus giving at death. There is tremendous value when donors can see the impact of their philanthropy. It often stimulates even bigger gifts at death.